We all remember that fateful Monday night game against Chicago. We were on a four game win streak. Everyone was looking forward to this one. Rodgers steps right and is hit in the backfield. It almost ruined the entire season. I was sitting on my living room couch watching the game and I almost cried. That night virtually all of Wisconsin suffered a collective heart attack from a combination of bratwurst, cheese curds, and the Rodgers injury. The next day the few Bears fans I knew (mostly bullies without many friends) mocked us Cheeseheads mercilessly, and we could only offer up pathetic excuses about Seneca Wallace's incompetence and, well, that was about it.
The next two weeks we lost to two consecutive NFC East opponents 27-13. I was in a serious depression by this point, not knowing if Rodgers would be back in time to save our season. Eddie Lacy was growing into a dependable running back before our eyes, but our defense couldn't stop the Nowata Possums (kudos if you caught the reference). Our only consolation was that the lowly Vikings were coming into town the next week and there was no way we could lose to them, right?
That game was the most gut-wrenching game I had ever watched. I experienced the full spectrum of human emotion, and when the dust cleared and the scoreboard read 26-26, I didn't even have the energy to get up from the couch. I laughed, I cried, I slept. The rest of the day was spent in a trance. How are you supposed to feel after a tie? What could possibly happen next?
The Thanksgiving Day Massacre. As we celebrated a national holiday by eating unhealthy amounts of food soaked in gravy, the Packers were quite literally ripped to pieces. I threw the remote on the ground after the game and slept a fitful sleep, dreaming about strange combinations of turkey and the Lions defensive line. That's all I have to say about that.
At this point I felt as though I were wandering through a desert devoid of defense. I could barely keep track of who was starting at QB the next week, let alone who we were playing. Enter the Atlanta Falcons. We won. Hope was kindled. Of course I don't even need to remind you of The Comeback the next week in Dallas. All I can say is that after Eddie Lacy flew into the end zone and Dez Bryant realized he had forgotten something in the locker room, I laughed deliriously for an hour straight.
Of course we lost to Pittsburgh the next week, but in Week 17, with Aaron Rodgers NOT suffering a broken collar bone, we completed one of the strangest regular seasons I have ever seen. That second Bears game meant so much to Wisconsin. It was sweet revenge, validation, and the NFC North title all wrapped up in one. I had never been so happy. San Francisco would go on to beat us in the Wild Card, but just to get to that point was what really mattered. It was a wildly entertaining season.
That being said, if we ever have to go through something like that again, I will not survive it. It was single-handedly the most painful season I have ever experienced. The mocking from the Bears fans, the wallowing in self pity, it was all too much. So, if Aaron Rodgers ever goes down again, tell my family I love them. Oh and by "them" I mean the Green Bay Packers.